Joanie Bigbee and Nick Dalton are polar opposites in every way. She is wild, untamed and unable to settle down – jobwise and relationship-wise. He is calm, a “house mouse” and eager to settle down as fast as possible. They fall in love, but are faced with a number of issues such as the health of Joanie’s grandmother, Nick’s complicated past and the constant rumours started by the people that live in their small town.
The novel is a story about how nothing in life can be planned, because unexpected events will always change our lives in unexpected ways. The author emphasizes this by having a double narrative in her story. The reader knows the point of view of Nick and Joanie and this helps to understand the struggles the main characters have to go through before they can be happy. Though the double narrative expands the story compared to the average chicklit book, in which we only know the struggles of the female protagonist, it also eliminates the element of suspense in the love story.
The feelings of the main characters for each other are known at every point of the story and so the reader never really has to wonder whether or not the characters will end up together. Kim Law tries to compensate this by letting the main characters interact a lot with minor characters, of which the reader does not know the perspectives. Those smaller personas often are the core of the unexpected events that change the lives of Joanie and Nick.
The author taps into the 50 Shades of Grey audience by including many explicit sex scenes in the book. Though they do not move the plot forward in any sort of way, they will be a delight to any reader who loves the Grey trilogy.
The writing style of the author is an easy one to read, though often filled with cringe-worthy clichés such as “A man who’d set her engine on purr” and “Captivating eyes, the color of storm clouds on a late-summer day”. However, there are not too many for it to overtake the plot line.
Overall, Sweet Nothings is a decent read. It will make you laugh at times, but it is pretty predictable, especially because of the double narrative, and there are better chicklits out there.